Friday, May 28, 2010

Orange Chipotle Carnitas

Sheesh! It’s been a bit of a break since my last post but alas, I am back with another. I was trying out a vegetarian “fast” of sorts for a few days but am now back to carnivor-ism ☺ I had already made this dish a few weeks ago but didn’t do one of the steps that really and truly make it what it is. Any traditional-styled carnitas cannot begin to be deemed traditional if it is not fried in fat ☺. TRADITIONAL traditional carnitas (“little meats”) are fried in lard after being roasted or braised in the cook’s choices of liquid and spices. Outside of the flavor, the most crucial thing about carnitas that make them so weak-in-the-knees yummy is their texture.. melt-in-your-mouth tender yet crispy and caramelized.

You can simplify this kind of dish by skipping the frying as an afterthought and go straight to braising the meat IN melted lard and then finishing by cranking the heat so the meat crisps up. Shred and enjoy.

My Orange Chipotle Carnitas

3# Pork Shoulder/Butt – cut into 4 manageable peices
3 canned Chipotle chiles + 3 T. Adobo sauce
2 Oranges – zested & juiced
2 cloves Garlic – peeled
2-3 T. Lard or Shortening

~ In a food processor, combine chipotles, adobo, zest, juice and garlic – process til well combined.

~ Lay pieces of pork in a medium sized crockpot – pour orange chipotle mixture on top of meat and let cook on low for about 8 hrs (or dutchoven @ 300*F for 3 ½ - 4 hrs).

~ Remove meat from liquid (set liquid aside). Shred meat with a fork or by hand and set aside.

~ In a large sauté pan, heat left over liquid to a simmer & let reduce for about 5 minutes. Add shredded meat to the pan and toss to coat meat in the liquid. Let the meat brown for a minute before tossing a few more times until there is barely any liquid left in the pan and the meat is uniformly browned. Serve warm with desired accompaniments.

Warmed corn tortillas
Sliced onions
Diced tomatoes
Chopped Cilantro
Sliced Avocado
Sliced Radishes
Sour Cream
Refried Beans

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I used an extra orange (clementine) here for shits’n’giggles – who knows if it actually imparts more flavor? Lol
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See all the leftover liquid? A mix of rendered fat from the meat and the orange/chipotle liquids
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Shredded meat
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Rendered liquid reduc.
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Finished “frying”
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Heating my tortillas for tacos – Double the comal , double the fun!
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So that’s that. So simple. So satisfying.. You may see recipes out there that call for coke or pepsi, etc. I believe they even use soda for carnitas in mexico! Those are alright but I’ve made it that way and it produces a very sweet meat – something I didn’t much care for as a taco filler. (And that’s SUPER weird coming from me, the gal with the insatiable sweet tooth). I find the orange juice lends juuuust enough sweetness and won’t overpower any kind of chili/spice you put in there. I’ve seen a recipe floating around online that uses pineapple juice and soysauce, smh. Just say NO yall..


Orange on Foodista


D. @ Outside Oslo said...

I found your blog through the Foodie Blogroll.

That recipe looks delicious. Sounds like you're still finding at least some time to cook special meals despite the PB&J, etc.!

Anonymous said...

Hi - also found your blog on Foodie Blogroll. The recipe sounds great. Always wanted to make carnitas - I do pulled pork in the slow cooker all the time but have never taken the extra step to do the frying/sauteing of the meat for true carnitas. I will try this.

One question: What do you use the shortening/lard for?

Stay@HomeChef said...

@Outside Oslo - thank you! You are the first one ever to comment on my blog! :D Oh yes, I cook 3x a day 6x a week - but it's nice to do things outside of what my kids have come to expect and take the time to make note of it. They're becoming proficient in taco eating, haha.

Stay@HomeChef said...

@omgyummy - thanks, its a really yummy dish. The lard is the fat source needed to actually fry the meat in. The way I do it though, I find to be easier, more flavorful and less wasteful (that is, to saute the meat in it's own rendered fat with a little extra lard added in)

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
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Alisa said...

Looks delicious, I'd love to try this soon. Hope you wont mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

Liver Detox Diets said...

Mouthwatering dish. Love the thought of making something different for the family to enjoy and I know we haven't had orange chipotle carnitas as of yet. Just saying it makes me want to wear a big sombrero. Thanks.

christine said...

Hello! I found this blog in Foodista and followed it here. This is a lovely blog and awesome Orange Chipotle Carnitas recipe. Where do you get your inspiration? By the way you can place more Foodista widget in your past and future blogs so that other Foodista readers can follow and see your blog too. Just search for a related recipe or food in Foodista and use its widget. I hope to read more from you. Cheers!